Researchers uncover ring of GitHub accounts promoting 300+ backdoored apps

GitHub ring consisting of 89 accounts promoted 73 repos containing over 300 backdoored apps.
Written by Catalin Cimpanu, Contributor

A security researcher has uncovered a ring of malicious GitHub accounts promoting over 300 backdoored Windows, Mac, and Linux applications and software libraries.

The malicious apps contained code to gain boot persistence on infected systems and later download other malicious code.

In the samples analyzed by the security team at DFIR.it, the malicious apps downloaded a Java-based malware named Supreme NYC Blaze Bot (supremebot.exe).

According to researchers, this appeared to be a "sneaker bot," a piece of malware that would add infected systems to a botnet that would later participate in online auctions for limited edition sneakers.

All the GitHub accounts that were hosting these files --backdoored versions of legitimate apps-- have now been taken down.

One account, in particular, registered in the name of Andrew Dunkins, hosted 305 backdoored ELF binaries. Another 73 apps were hosted across 88 other accounts.

The accounts that did not host backdoored apps were used to "star" or "watch" the malicious repositories and help boost their popularity in GitHub's search results.

Some of the apps and libraries for which the hacker(s) created backdoored versions include MinGW, GCC, Ffmpeg, EasyModbus, and various Java-based games.

The DFIR.it investigation into this network of backdoored apps started when researchers spotted a malicious version of the JXplorer LDAP browser.

Most users of the listed apps are safe unless they went out of their way to download the apps from outside the official websites and landed on any of the malicious GitHub repos by accident.

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